Making Papads, or Papadam, from scratch is a rare experience. Because the process is so labour intensive, nearly everyone surrenders to purchasing their papads from manufacturers. For those bold enough to try, the basic method for making papads is as following:
After washing it completely, soak 1 kg of rice in water for a 2-3 hours. Dry the rice in the sun, tossing occasionally so itíll dry uniformly. Roast the rice in a large heavy pan without any oil for a few minutes, then grind the rice into a soft flour. As an alternative to rice flour, you can also make papads from Urad Dal flour.
To the flour, add dry, ground chilies, salt and asofoetida to taste. Add hot water and pound the mixture in a stone mortar to make a hard dough. Hand roll the dough into balls, then use a rolling pin to flatten each ball into a small, wafer thin circle like a roti. Spread the wafers out single layer on a clean cloth and let them dry in the sun for a day or two, until they are dry. Once properly dried and stored in a dry, airtight container, papads will keep for about 6 months. When ready to eat, they can be roasted, deep fried or even microwave, with or without oil.
An alternative recipe for papads calls for 1 kg. Urad dhal, roasted and ground to a fine flour, then mixed with 40 gms. Salt, 35t gm. Soda bicarb, a teaspoon of asotoetida, and spices to taste (black pepper, chilis, masala, etc.) Add a little water to the dry ingredients and work into a hard dough. Form into about 100 rounds, then roll out into wafers, about 7 inches in diameter.